D204 Focused On Diversifying Its Staff

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You may have noticed some new faces at District 204 schools, and that’s because 116 teachers were hired for the new school year. At the latest Indian Prairie School District 204 board meeting, officials presented a report about the landscape of its staff.

The district saw an increase of 27.2 full-time equivalency staff positions, which includes teachers, nurses, and other staff.

“We have remained in budget, the majority of our licensed increases are related to evidence based funding, supporting mental health, and class sizes at title one schools,” said Carey Harry, the human resources coordinator at IPSD. “The increase also reflects support to the Achieve Program at Wheatland Academy.”

D204 Focused On Diversifying

District 204 officials got a head start on the hiring process this year, completing most of it in the spring. As a part of their recruiting efforts, IPSD focused on hiring minority staff members to improve diversity within the district.

“This past year, 12.4% of our new licensed hires were persons of color,” said Doug Ecarius, the assistant superintendent for human resources at IPSD. “When I say licensed hire, I’m referring to our teaching staff. Last year, that number was at 8.5%, and, last year was lower than previous years.”

Across District 204, 16% of staff are people of color.

Teacher Shortage In Illinois

There are still several open teaching positions available in the district, and not enough qualified people to fill them.

“Last year the state of Illinois could not fill over 1,400 teaching positions, 1,000 support personnel positions, and around 80 administrative positions,” said Ecarius. “That continues to be a challenge. They’re expecting numbers this year to be even higher.”

The district will continue its recruiting strategies by attending more college job fairs, which include visiting several historically black colleges and universities.

Naperville News 17’s Christian Canizal reports.